USG contractors working in Kuwait MUST abide by the Kuwait Labor Law or face consequences. Just because employees are working at a US military installation does not mean that employers get to bend the rules to suit them.
It is good that the article includes the full name of the lawyer, Musaed J. Al-Riyahi, that is handling the employees' case. He has successfully won cases for Westerners fighting for their rights. More people with similar circumstances can now contact him. Only wish they had published his contact information! I just did a quick Google search and couldn't find him. Why don't these guys at least get on LinkedIn?
The Kuwait Labor Law states that a work week is only 48 hours. Any time over 48 hours is considered overtime. No such thang in Kuwait as "exempt" and "non-exempt" employees. It all the same.
Kuwait Labor Law, Article 64
"…it is forbidden to allow workers to work for more than 48 hours per week or 8 hours a day..."
The overtime work should not exceed two hours a day, a maximum of 180 hours a year, three days a week or 90 days a year. The worker shall have the right to prove by any means that the employer required him to perform additional works for an additional period of time. The worker shall also be entitled to a 25 percent increase over his original remuneration for the period of overtime."
I wonder how many employees filed the case. Interesting.
Bottom line is that either the company has knowingly violated legal labor practices to make more money; or whoever was in charge of overseeing their contract (compliance/contract management?) did a crap job.
Ultimately, if employees don't do anything about it, unscrupulous companies will get away with it. The Kuwait Labor Law is available online. Any employee in Kuwait with a Kuwaiti residency visa is governed under the Kuwait Labor Law. Get edumacated.